Whatcha think about building healthier habits?
Does it sound intimidating?
Depends on how much of a priority it is for you, right?
I don’t really need to build a habit of going to bed earlier because I never stay up late. So building in a habit of hitting the hay 30 minutes earlier is not a priority.
But eating healthier was always a priority to me. So I began to habit stack.
It’s always easier to start making changes when they’re kinda small, right?
I call this habit stacking.
You pick one habit to start with. Nothing huge. Then you slowly work it in.
When you’re used to it, you add on one more. And so on.
Before you know it, you’ve created a routine or maybe even an entire shift.
To get that whole habit stacking momentum thing going for you, I’m sharing 5 simple healthy habits you could borrow (and keep) right now.
Pick one to start your stack, then tack on another. Before you know it, you’ll be a healthy habits badass and you’ll wonder why you didn’t start doing this sooner.
Healthy Habit 1: Drink More Water
Yes, water. Not tea. Not lattes. Not even kombucha. Just plain old water.
We’re getting back to basics, right? You can’t get much more basic than water.
I’m sure you remember from school it’s recommended you get about 2 liters, or 8 glasses, of water into your bod each day. This recommendation hasn’t changed a ton over the years though it has slightly gone up … now it’s recommended men get about 13 glasses and women about 11.
This water intake includes water you absorb from all sources - even food. Which means you don’t have to drink that many glasses of water each day.
This means when you’re eating your veggies and fruits throughout the day, you’re getting some of that water.
And this also means that for our purposes here of building simple healthy habits, I want you to focus on drinking just 3-4 eight ounce glasses of water each day. That’s doable, right?
If you’re like me and the taste of plain water is just… not your style… feel free to add a drop or two of your favorite citrus essential oil (lemon, lime, orange) in there to liven it up a little.
Healthy Habits 2: Reduce Screen Time
And to know where to start with this, I need you to … look at your phone screen. Haha.
You may have not realized this, but your phone tracks your screen time for you. If you’re on an iPhone or Android, your screen time usage is located in your phone settings. For iPhone, it’s called Screen Time and for Android it’s called Digital Wellbeing.
When you’re in there, take a look around and see your current habits.
Take note of the apps you spend the most time inside.
Even scarier, with an iPhone, you can even track how many times you’ve picked up your phone on a given day. And which apps you gravitated to the most after that first pickup.
It’s kind of mind blowing to see your digital habits laid out like that. But it’s important to look at because you need to know what’s drawing your energy away from the essentials.
And once you’ve analyzed this, it’s time to make a decision: are there any areas you specifically want to work on changing? Meaning get OFF?! Lol.
Social media apps may be the easiest place to start. You could give yourself a goal of reducing your time on the by an hour over the course of a week. Or you could aim for 30 or 45 minutes less each day.
Just choose something that’s doable and, most importantly, easy for you to stick with. Use the built-in screen time functions to help you track it.
And before we move onto habit #3 I’d like to point out one last thing… It’s kinda trendy to go on a digital detox right now but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a valuable habit to build on the daily. Detox or not.
Our brains need a little more exercise than staring passively at screens. Yes, they can be fun. Yes, we can learn lots of things online. Yes, you’re even reading this on a screen.
But… There are also a bunch of awesome things to do that don’t involve scrolling or snapping pics to share. Stuff like working on your fav hobby, exercising, cooking, or reading a book. All good stuff.
Healthy Habit 3: Learn To Say No
I think I hear you saying to me right now… “Hayley! This is not a simple habit!!”
But I’d beg to differ with you and here’s why: learning to say “no” is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.
It may seem intimidating but that’s because you’re worried if you start saying no, you’ll get push-back.
And maybe you will.
But… more than likely what will happen is, the people (or things) you’re saying “no” to will realize you have boundaries. And they’ll have no choice but to respect those boundaries.
Which means eventually they’ll stop putting you in situations where you have to say no.
Plus since we’re starting small… you could combine this habit with the reduced screen time and simply say “no” to the app that seems to keep calling your name. haha
Or you could take this one seriously and decide on one thing this week that you’ll practice saying “no” to.
Maybe it’s the temptation to stay up later than you should… when you say “no” to something like that, you begin working on boundaries with yourself. Boundaries around respecting your need for rest.
And that’s powerful.
Or maybe you’ll practice saying “no” to someone in your professional life who’s asking you to take on more of something than you can do at the moment. You can say “no” in a kind way while still communicating your own needs .
And when you do this… you set a boundary that helps those you work with understand how to better work with you.
See? The power of “no” means life improves for you. That’s why this habit is so important.
Healthy Habit 4: Build Prep Time Into Your Evening Routine
Maybe you already do this and if so, give yourself a pat on the back! But if you don’t, prepare to have your mornings transformed for the better.
To get started with this habit, all you need is a piece of paper and a pen.
Write down - quickly - the stuff you didn’t get a chance to do during the day that you still want to accomplish.
You know…..the things you want to accomplish and it’s actually bugging you that you didn’t get to. These are things that are going to prevent you from falling asleep tonight.
Stuff like… you didn’t finish all the laundry. Or you forgot to sign a permission slip. Or the email you started and didn’t finish writing. Then, choose 3 things from that list that will be your top priority for the next day.
Then, write down 3 things you actually did accomplish and tell yourself you’re a badass babe for getting them done.
That’s it. Repeat this nightly. Feel free to keep adding things you didn’t get to. Make the list as long as you’d like.
Your goal is to knock off the priorities. Again, you can always pull up more from your list of To Do’s and knock them out.
No fancy planner required. Just simple paper and pen.
Healthy Habit 5: Notice Your Triggers
Now listen, I’m not gonna ask you to self-analyze or psychoanalyze yourself to death.
But I am going to ask you to work on becoming consciously aware of when you’re triggered. Because you will be.
For example, say you’re at the grocery store. And there’s someone in line in front of you checking out and they’re being SO SLOW.
It’s really aggravating you. You’re triggered.
This is an opportunity to pause. Think. Realize you’re triggered. And then decide not to be.
You can analyze it more deeply about it if you want. But really the purpose of this habit is to simply get you in the habit of noticing.
Noticing your unconscious mind and bringing it out to your awareness.
This is important because IF you want to grow and become more and more holistically happy, you’ll want to tackle your mindset issues.
And if you’ve already gotten into the habit of consciously noticing these things about yourself… that work is going to be so much easier.
So start building that habit now and you’ll thank yourself later.
It includes the habits we talked about today plus a little tracker for you so you can track your progress.